One game after the high point of their season, an inspired performance in a landmark victory at home over then-undefeated Golden State, the Bucks were routed on the road Tuesday night in a loss to the Lakers.
What accounted for such a limp, lethargic performance?
TMZ Sports has a guess – several Milwaukee players visited a Los Angeles strip club and stayed until the early-morning hours on the day of the game – and also the video footage to back it up.
According to the sports arm of the national gossip website based in L.A., Bucks players O.J. Mayo, Greg Monroe, Khris Middleton and Miles Plumlee were at the Ace of Diamonds gentleman’s club on Monday night and reportedly stayed until after 2 a.m.
The Bucks, coming off a win over the defending-champion Warriors on Saturday night, tipped off against the moribund Lakers, the worst team in the Western Conference, at 7:30 p.m. PT on Tuesday.
Mayo, Monroe and Middleton are regular starters for Milwaukee, while Plumlee is a little-used reserve. Incidentally, Monroe, who had his best performance of the season against Golden State, was a late scratch from the lineup for the Lakers game, due to knee soreness he apparently suffered beforehand during practice.
Mayo played 27 minutes against Los Angeles and missed 8 of 11 shots, finishing with nine points and three turnovers; Middleton was 6 for 16 and had 16 points in 34 minutes. Coming off the bench in Monroe’s absence, Plumlee played 24 minutes and had 10 points and eight rebounds in Milwaukee’s 113-95 loss.
Even Kobe Bryant looked good again playing the listless Bucks, scoring a game-high 22 points.
Monroe was the Bucks’ prized free-agent acquisition during the offseason, signing a three-year, $50 million contract with the team. In the TMZ video, the 6-foot-11 center can be seen making some of that cash rain around the club.
The Bucks, who are 10-16, are still in Los Angles, by the way, as they play the Clippers on Wednesday night at the Staples Center. It will be interesting to see if they look any more rested and focused, especially against a much better opponent.
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.